Sessions end as if by magic. I see the clock, wrap up concluding thoughts or ideas, and review the contents of the session. Usually I am dipping into the next appointment by a few minutes and eventually by the end of the day I am about 20 minutes over to allow everyone the full hour.
I am relieved that we have shortened consultations to only 40 minutes. If we need more time to work with a client we can, but at the same time if we do not, we have less time of discharge in each session. To elaborate, I think of myself like a battery. I only have so much juice for each session. If I run an hour, I am pretty drained, but if I only do 30-40 minutes, I still have some energy left. I recharge at the beginning of every session but as with most rechargeable batteries, the more often they discharge all the way, the less effective they become over time (even if batteries really don’t do that, you get the point).
Now that we know that I am excited about implementing a 40 minute session, I have no idea how to enforce a 40 minute session. While sitting here in front of the computer, I feel the urge to generate a list of possible solutions to ending a session:
Spend more time at the beginning explaining how a session will proceed
Ask what things the client would prefer to work on specifically (encourage them to fill out the first question in the session log)
At around 30 minutes, begin to discuss the overall impact of the paper, areas that need more work (research, thesis, etc…) and deliver any praise or compliments (about particular sentence, ability to recognize errors during session, new idea, etc…).
Just state, “Time’s Up!” nicely and ask client if they have any specific questions about what was covered in the session.
Well, I guess I knew how to do these things all along, but I don’t know that they are in my mind until I write them out. Most of these ideas are standard procedure for ending a session of any time length, but I never verbalized them and made sense of them. And because I wrote them out, I thought it would be nice to share with my peers in case you were asking the same question.